Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sede Vacante and A Papal Lapbook Plan

I feel a connection with our now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI that is a little hard to understand.  I've received quotes from his various speeches and writings in my inbox for years, thanks to the work of the Benedict Everyday website.  I have a little picture of him in my kitchen that makes me smile every time I see it.  I've read some of his writings and always appreciated his wisdom, humility, great intelligence and kindness.  I've used some of his quotes for copywork, and others I have copied into my own commonplace book.  I have several quotes waiting in my inbox for copying.  Here's one, picked at random:  "We often recognize what is good without doing it.  With prayer we succeed in doing it."  And another:  "It is precisely in prayer that we become ever more aware of Jesus' presence with us and in us.  The more and better we pray, with constancy, with intensity, the more like him we shall be, and he will truly enter unto our life and guide it, bestowing upon us joy and peace."  He's the only Pope I have known as a Catholic.

And now he's no longer the Pope, no longer the Papa.  And I feel his absence at the helm, I feel the empty chair of Saint Peter within me.

And I have the privilege of sharing this time with my children, watching the footage of his last appearances, his helicopter flight from the Vatican, praying for him and for the Cardinals as they gather to elect his successor.  It is also a great opportunity to dive a little deeper into what the Papacy is, who the Pope is, and how the Conclave works.  Jessica at Shower of Roses has created a marvelous lapbook and unit study to help children explore these topics, and I am thrilled to use it.  We will begin on Monday, starting with an exploration of Saint Peter and the Basilica that bears his name.  We'll be reading, narrating, and working on several of the mini-books together.  I've rearranged our schedule to give us an hour each day to delve into this topic, and I think it will be a wonderful and enriching experience for us all.  Yet another reason I am so thankful that we homeschool!

In case it helps anyone else, here's how I broke down the first unit.  We'll probably do the fourth unit the following week, since that one is about the Conclave, then we'll complete the second and the third.  Next week is a little short, with our science lab, dentist appointments, and religious education all on Tuesday and an event on Friday.  But still, I think it will work well.  I'm also planning on reading St. Peter's Tomb later in the afternoon or evening as well.  I'm hoping to finish it that week.

Read Lost in St. Peter’s Tomb
Research St. Peter’s Basilica online
Make St. Peter’s Basilica pop-up book

Read Lost in St. Peter’s Tomb

Read St. Peter’s Story
Complete the page about St. Peter in the “Some Special Popes” book
Make St. Peter’s Keys (in the afternoon)

Thursday Read Lost in St. Peter’s Tomb
Read about the Primacy of St. Peter (My Catholic Faith)
Primacy of Peter Copywork
Picture Study - Christ Handing the Keys to Saint Peter


  1. I loved reading your beautiful post!

    And it sound like you have a great plan for your family! Thank you for sharing and for linking to my post! I hope you enjoy the Lap Book and Unit Study!

    1. Thanks for your comment and your encouragement, Jessica!

  2. I feel the same way as you wrote in the first few paragraphs here. I wish I'd known about the Benedict Everyday emails, what a neat idea! We are also doing the papal lapbpook; thanks for sharing your plans!

    1. Hi Erin, thanks for your comment!

      BTW, the woman who has been selecting the quotes for the Benedict Everyday emails plans to continue her work. She also has one for quotes from the Bible and the saints that I've enjoyed -